Urging the release of separatists detained during Friday’s unrest that left dozens dead, more than 100 pro-Russia activists surrounded a police station in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa Sunday.
Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: More Activists Released
Police in Odessa say 67 pro-Russia activists were freed Sunday.
CNN quotes the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s website:
“Based on the decision taken by Odessa’s regional prosecutor’s office and due to the demands of the protesters, 67 people previously detained for participating in mass disturbances on May 2nd in Odessa were released Sunday.”
Our original post continues:
From the BBC:
“The initially peaceful rally turned violent as protesters – some wearing masks and carrying improvised weapons – broke windows and forced the gates.
“Several detained protesters were released by the police. There were chants of ‘Russia, Russia’ from the crowds.”
The standoff comes two days after dozens of people died in a fire that followed a clash between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia groups on Friday. The region’s police chief was fired after that incident; the police agency is being investigated.
Today, interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Odessa and called the deaths a “tragedy for all Ukraine.”
The site of the deadly fire has drawn tributes this weekend, as people piled flowers around candles and photographs to honor those who died.
Here are other developments in the Ukraine crisis:
— Yatsenyuk says the government in Kiev will decentralize power and provide “additional guarantees concerning the use of the Russian language and other languages.” (Russia’s state-run Tass news agency)
— Continuing its military operations against separatists, Ukraine’s forces “destroyed pro-Russian rebel checkpoints” in Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. (Kyiv Post)
— Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for Friday’s violence. (Euronews)
— Ukraine’s government is getting advice from U.S. agents of the CIA and FBI, according to a German newspaper. (Global Post)
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